Caring For The Guppy, AKA The Rainbow Fish

guppyGuppy Quick Care Facts:

Environment: 25.5 and 27.8 degrees c (78 and 82 degrees F)
pH: 7 to 8.1
KH: 100-150
Diet: Omnivorous
Breeding: Live bearing

The Aquarium Environment

The guppy, also known as the rainbow fish or the million fish, is a popular freshwater aquarium fish. The preferred environment is a water ph between 7 to 8.1 and a temperature between 25.5 and 27.8 degrees c (78 and 82 degrees F). Guppies are prolific eaters and not unknown to grow overweight.

Feeding Rainbow Fish

The aquarium guppy should be fed a small amount of food, once every day. The best foods are “live”, for example, microworms and baby brine shrimp. These small organisms live in the aquarium alongside the fish, which means that there is no risk of fouling the water from decaying “dead” food. There are vacation feeders available, useful when the aquarium owner goes absent. However, he should test the feeder beforehand to ensure that the item works effectively in the aquarium. It is important not to underfeed the fish, especially if there are young fish present, since the guppy is known to eat its own fry.

Breeding Guppies

The male guppy is 1.5 to 3.5 cm in length, while the female is 3 to 6 cm. The males are spotted, striped and splashed in various colors, while the female is gray. After being inseminated by the male, the female guppy can store sperm and fertilize her ova for up to eight months. The breeding period runs throughout the year, with the gestation period being between 21 and 30 days. She gives birth to live young.

Diseases of the Guppy

Like other species, the million fish is prone to disease. The fish are sensitive to various fungi and bacteria, typically attacking the mouth and the fin. A very visible disease is saprolegnia, which appears on the fish body as flat, white patches. Most often, the fish is poisoned by water that is too hot or cold, too acid or alkali.

If the tank is overfull with other fish and aquarium plants, the guppy is at risk of carbon dioxide poisoning. Water that has been fouled by decaying food and other dead fish is also poisonous to the million fish. The aquarium owner should take steps against disease by not overfilling the tank with plant and fish life, cleaning it out regularly and checking ph and temperature levels, routinely.

Cleaner Shrimp Are The Custodians Of Saltwater Aquariums

Skunk Cleaner ShrimpCleaner Shrimp Quick Care Facts:

Environment: Tropical 22.2-25.6°C (72 -78  °F)
pH: 8.1 – 8.4
KH: 8 – 12
Diet: Carnivore
Breeding: Egg Layer

Cleaner shrimp are the perfect addition to a saltwater aquarium to help keep it clean and to maintain the health of fish in the tank. Also called skunk cleaner and scarlet cleaner shrimp because of their white “skunk” stripe and bright red backs, these shrimp add beauty to any tank. They are easy to keep without requiring any special care, however you will need to maintain proper iodine levels.

General Information

Originally from the tropical Western Pacific Ocean, cleaner shrimp belong to the Custacea class. They exhibit two pair of antennae, five pairs of legs, three body parts and a tail with a white spot that looks like a fan. The long stiff antennae are used for feeding and catching and tearing food apart with its pincers. The adult is about two inches long.

The shrimp are called cleaner shrimp because they actually help to clean parasites living on the body and gills of fish. They even remove dead tissue from the body of the fish. Being scavengers, these shrimp will keep the entire tank clean by eating left over food and other debris in the tank.

Watching the antics of cleaner shrimp is interesting. They sway their tentacles in the water in search of food, and also to advertise their cleaning services to resident fish. If you are lucky, you will see fish coming to these “cleaning stations” to tidy themselves.

Feeding Requirements

Specific feeding of cleaner shrimp is not needed unless there is not enough left-over food in the tank. If necessary, they can be fed pellets and flakes food, frozen foods, or smaller meaty seafood such as roe or pieces of fish.

Breeding Skunk Cleaner Shrimp

The scarlet cleaner shrimp are hermaphrodites, changing sex frequently, and making it easy to find a breeding pair. With two shrimp in a tank, one will lose its exoskeleton and become the female. Between 200 and 500 eggs are laid in one spawning. After the eggs hatch they should be protected until they are larger than the mouths of other fish in the tank.

Diseases of Cleaner Shrimp

Health problems can result from too much food in the tank or changes in the quality of water from the introduction of a new plant or from fish medications, copper is deadly to invertebrate. Generally, however, cleaner shrimp remain healthy and active with little care.